Comment: Sober reflections on Sousse

Seeing repeated footage of the Sousse massacre and hearing first-hand accounts of those who were there has been a difficult experience in recent weeks.

What the families and people caught up in the atrocity have been going through is too awful to imagine. And I know from personal conversations with Tui staff who were on the scene or dealt with the aftermath that the horrific incident has deeply affected the operator too.

Tui, led by UK managing director Nick Longman, has been fully engaged in the inquests and demonstrated its willingness to act immediately on the coroner’s findings – including making FCO advice much more prominent across all its sales channels.

Other operators have followed suit; the Sousse attack directly impacted Tui, but any operator’s customers could be victims of such a wanton act of terrorism.

The inquests are just one step in the process, as a number of the families of those who died have confirmed their intention to pursue civil proceedings against Tui.

But the coroner’s decision that a finding of neglect was not appropriate, as holidaymakers could not be deemed to be “dependent” on their travel company or hotel for every aspect of their safety, is of huge significance for
the industry.

As Tui has always insisted, it is quite right that a full inquiry was carried out into this appalling tragedy.

If a positive can be found from this process and future coroner’s reports, it is that travel companies will be better placed to ensure their customers are as well-informed and safe as they can be when they go on holiday.

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